The Montenotte Hotel, Montenotte, Cork City
Last month, July, Patrick and I decided on a staycation for our little family here in Ireland. Spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit we decided on Cork as our destination.
We’re no strangers to Cork having stayed in hotels both in and outside of the city a number of times in the past. This year our plan was to make Cork City our base, and that we did.
We enjoyed a couple of days exploring city life in the shape of food and culture. Lunch was enjoyed at The English Market, dinner at Fenn’s Quay, art at the Crawford Art Gallery and family fun at the City Spectacular in the gorgeous Fitzgerald Park.
Outside of the city we took in the sights and lunched at Blarney Castle, visited the Blarney Woolen Mills and spent an afternoon strolling in the rain in Kinsale.
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When searching for hotels to stay in, the four star The Montenotte Hotel caught my attention. It had only reopened the month previous after a €5m refurbishment, it had a swimming pool, plus it was offering special reopening rates.
I don’t know what The Montenotte Hotel looked like before the refurbishment but I can tell you the place looks fantastic now.
Our drive up Lover’s Walk in Montenotte to the hotel offered a glimpse of what views lay ahead from our hotel.
When you enter the hotel, the reception is to your right. The lobby is spacious and the decor is luxurious looking.
Through the double doors ahead and you enter the hotel restaurant called the ‘Panorama Bistro’. Again the decor is luxurious with gorgeous green velvet couches and seating to relax on. There’s a baby grand piano, and lots of space, ideal if, like us you have a baby or toddler in a pram. My recommendation is to sit near the large windows that look out onto the terrace. The natural light that comes through and the view of Cork City are both fabulous.
Of course you can sit out on the terrace and enjoy your meal or drink too. It really is the pièce de résistance of the bistro. It looks out over Cork City, the River Lee and Cork’s green countryside beyond.
I loved the design features from the glass terrace wall and funky seating to the fresh growing lavender and beehive styled ornamental furniture.
We actually stayed in two different rooms throughout our stay. The first night we stayed in a standard room with kingsize bed and views over Cork.
Our second and third nights were spent in a family room. This second room might have lacked the view we had from room one, but it did have more space. It also had a working telephone and a bath in its bathroom, both of which were lacking from room one.
I really liked the stylish decor of both rooms. Above all though they were comfortable and clean. As a family room, the second room was more spacious, so it did make it more comfortable for our little family.
The only real issue we had was with the heat. There was no aircon and it was very warm. The design of the windows allowed for very little air to circulate.
When it came to dining at The Montenotte Hotel, we enjoyed a two course dinner on our first night’s stay and breakfast each morning. The breakfast was included in the price we paid for our room.
We enjoyed our meals at the Panorama Bistro. The dinner menu was varied enough for us both to enjoy ordering. Patrick chose the Cured & Smoked Ham Hock Terrine w/ apple compote and toasted sourdough €8.95. I chose the Baked Crab Au Gratin w/ herb crust €10.00.
For Smith we ordered a baby bowl as finger food in public can be a messy affair. Although I did note and was impressed with the special Children’s Menu that was available. I’m sure it’s a hit with older ‘little children’, and their parents.
For our main course, Patrick chose the Gourmet Classic Beef Burger w/ melted mature cheddar, crispy streaky bacon on a brioche bun with house relish and chips €16.50. I chose the Traditional Fish and Chips w / minted pea purée and remoulade sauce and chips €15.95 as it was recommended. Again both dishes were enjoyed. For drinks Patrick and I enjoyed a bottle of Prosecco Frizzante Villa Arfanta €32.00.
Greeted with sunflowers at the reception on our way to the hotel restaurant each morning was cheerful. However it was the breakfast itself that was the cheeriest. It was five star. The variety of foods on offer, the quality of these foods and the special touches that included dining from gorgeous fine china made it an experience to look forward to.
Each morning after a short rest we payed a visit to the swimming pool and splashed about with Smith for a while. The gym at the hotel is a very good size, so too is the pool. Renovations were taking place when we were there and if the makeover on the hotel is anything to go by then I’m sure the pool and gym areas will look the business too.
The restaurant staff at dinner and breakfast deserve the highest credit for their service. They were all friendly and attentive, from the Manager through to the bar staff. The gym staff again were very friendly and helpful. The household staff we met throughout our stay were pleasant too.
Apart from a receptionist by the name of Deirdre, who was friendly and polite, efficient and gave the impression she really cared about the comfort of our stay, the staff at reception were disappointing. From unanswered email correspondence, to simply a lack of interest. I find this such a shame as these are the staff who meet you first and greet you last.
Would I stay at The Montenotte Hotel again. I would, but probably in an apartment.